Blueglass's 'viagra yogurt' under fire over suggestive ads and 'unsafe' ingredients

Zhu Qing
Popular brand facing fresh controversy over a product it is marketing to customers over 18 by claiming it contains "male enhancement" herbs that include ginseng and deer penis.
Zhu Qing
Blueglass's 'viagra yogurt' under fire over suggestive ads and 'unsafe' ingredients
Ti Gong

An advertising poster for Blueglass's new yogurt.

Blueglass, a yogurt brand previously criticized for its laxative-like effects, is facing fresh controversy over suggestive marketing and potentially unsafe ingredients in a new product.

The new yogurt, which claims to contain "male enhancement" herbs such as maca, cistanche deserticola, ginseng, and deer penis, has been dubbed "viagra yogurt" by netizens. It costs 49 yuan (US$6.78) per cup.

"We mix about 5 grams of these herbs, ground up, into the yogurt," a Blueglass customer service rep explained to Shanghai Television.

Adding fuel to the fire, the product's advertising features an "18+" symbol and slogans like "Get your 'super boy' back in one sip!" and "No sales to minors, pranksters, or over-60s."

Despite the claims, some store employees admit the yogurt doesn't deliver on its promises. "It's just regular yogurt, like a sports drink. You can't even taste the stuff we put in it," they said.

However, netizens who have tried the new product complain about its "strong herbal taste" and found it "hard to drink with a strange taste."

While both online and in-store sales channels list age restrictions, there's no clear system for verifying the age of customers, according to Shanghai Television's investigation.

Concerns have also been raised about the legality of Blueglass's ingredients. Some of the herbs are classified as tonics, and some might even be considered pharmaceuticals.

"These herbs are believed to have 'male enhancement' properties in traditional Chinese medicine," notes Dr Dou Danbo, director of traditional Chinese medicine at Shuguang Hospital. "However, consuming them mixed with yogurt is not recommended."

Tian Xiaofeng, director of the Shanghai Lawyers Association's competition and anti-monopoly committee, adds: "These ingredients straddle the line between food and medicine. Their use needs to comply with proper regulations. Additionally, the suggestive advertising tactics might violate advertising laws concerning ordinary food products."

In March, Blueglass faced a "laxative yogurt" scandal. Many consumers reported diarrhea after consuming products from the company's "Chang" series, sparking debate about product safety and proper probiotic use.

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